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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Northview baseball earns first Big Four title since 2004

Sunday, May 6, 2012

(Photo)
Northview's baseball team poses with the spoils of a long day's work as the Knights scored their first Big Four title in eight years with wins over Terre Haute North and Terre Haute South. [Order this photo]
By STEVEN PENN

Times Staff Reporter

The Northview varsity baseball team claimed the Big Four trophy Saturday night after defeating Terre Haute South, 6-4. Earlier in the day, the Knights knocked off Terre Haute North 9-4 to ensure the title with the final game against West Vigo scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m.

Head coach Scott McDonald said he was proud of the way his team played in both games Saturday, which resulted in Northview's first Big Four title since 2004.

"You look at both games ... we did a lot of things right in terms of getting key hits when we needed them," McDonald said. "We were able to manufacture some runs early and then we just put the pressure on the other teams' defense and we did a good job."

In the first inning, Craig Peters doubled into the center field gap, which scored Kodie Girton, who was on base after being hit by a pitch.

Later in the inning, Connor Pierce sent Peters home on a single, giving the Knight's a 2-0 lead.

Northview added another run in the third inning on a Tyler Wilson grounder, which allowed Girton to score, pushing the lead to 3-1.

The fifth inning proved to be Northview's best, as the team put together a three-run scoring effort.

Walks put Connor Ganley and Peters on base before a double by Zach Hull scored Ganley and allowed Peters to advance to third.

Peters didn't have to wait long to make it home, scoring on the next at bat after a ball got away from the Brave's catcher. Hull was also able to score after Terre Haute South's catcher couldn't corral another ball later in the inning, which gave the Knights the biggest lead of the game 6-1.

The Braves responded with a three-run rally of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but Northview brought in closer Brock Wheeler who struck out the first batter he faced, before allowing an RBI single, but rebounded with a ground out to end the inning.

In the sixth inning, Wheeler walked the first batter he faced, but struck out three of the Braves next six batters, while forcing the other three into ground outs to end the game.

McDonald said pitching played a big role in his team's victory.

"I thought (starter) Coleman (Craig) pitched outstanding for us," McDonald said. "The tough thing about playing so many games in the week and the Big Four -- and that's part of the drawback of it -- is you have to go so deep in your pitching. Coleman's performance tonight showed you the depth that we've got.

"(Coleman) kept the ball around the plate, he did a really good job, we made a lot of good plays behind him and we had some timely hits when we needed them."

McDonald said it's good to get the Big Four trophy, but there are still things his team can improve on moving forward.

"We need to definitely cut down our strikeouts," McDonald said. "We have to work on our bunting a little bit, but for the most part we did everything we were supposed to do today to get us a win. It's nice to win the Big Four, but we have a bigger picture (going forward)."

In the opening game win over Terre Haute North, the Knights got a complete game pitching performance from TJ Decker, who also had a double at the plate.

Girton, Peters, Pierce and Devin Clark each had RBI base hits. Girton and Peters each posted two hits in the game.

At Northview

Northview2010300-670
Terre Haute South1000300-480

1B -- Nv 4 (Girton 1, Pierce 1, Wilson 1, Decker 1), THS -- (Whitlock 1, Lannoo 2, Tofaute 2, Marlow 1, Harbaugh 1, Rollings 1). 2B -- Nv 2 (Hull 1, Peters 1), THS (None). SB -- Nv 2 (Girton 1, Wilson 1).

Pitching

NorthviewIPRHBBK
Craig (W)43544
Smith0.11210
Wheeler2.20104

T.H. South

Herrin4.15612
Shipley2.21123

Game one

T.H. North0010300-4
Northview010044x-9

2B -- Nv (Wilson, Pierce, Decker, Hull). 3B -- Nv (Girton).

Pitching

NorthviewIPRHBBK
Decker (W)7.04829